30: "I Am Doing a Great Work" (Ezra 1; 3–7; Nehemiah 2; 4–6; 8)
Do you watch DIY shows for hours on end or daydream about home improvement projects? If so, this episode is for you. But if you don’t, this episode is still for you because today we are talking about one of the most monumental moments in all of scripture: the rebuilding of the temple at Jerusalem. This event was crucial to the Jews who had gone without a temple since their Babylonian captivity. And after the past two years of a worldwide pandemic, we can relate to their hardships and the joys of having a temple once again, even if we have no idea how to read a blueprint.
Introduction to the books of Ezra and Nehemiah:
Who wrote these books:
Ezra: “Although the book of Ezra contains some material that is written as a first-person memoir (see Ezra 7–9), we do not know who ultimately combined this material with the rest of the narrative. Many scholars believe that the person who compiled the book of Ezra also compiled or wrote 1 and 2 Chronicles and Nehemiah” (“Introduction to the Book of Ezra,” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Material, 2018, ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
Nehemiah: “The author of the book of Nehemiah is unknown. However, the book has an autobiographical style. Nehemiah 1:1 mentions that these are ‘the words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah,’ and the rest of the narrative is written primarily in the first person. This may suggest that at least portions of the book were written by Nehemiah himself” (“Introduction to the Book of Nehemiah,” Old Testament Seminary and Teacher Manual, ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
What happens in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah:
Ezra: “One of the most notable events described in the book of Ezra is the completion of the temple in Jerusalem, which had been destroyed many years earlier by the Babylonians. Ezra 1–6 contains an account of the return of the first group of Jews to Jerusalem in approximately 537 B.C. and their efforts to rebuild the temple. Ezra 7–10 contains an account of Ezra’s return to Jerusalem in approximately 458 B.C. and his efforts to help the Jews living there keep the Lord’s commandment to not marry outside of the covenant” (“Introduction to the Book of Ezra,” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Material, 2018, ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
Nehemiah: “The book of Nehemiah is the continuation of the account that begins in the book of Ezra. The books of Ezra and Nehemiah originally made up one book in the Hebrew scriptural canon. The book was divided into two books in the third century A.D.
“The book of Nehemiah records an important time period in Jewish history, which included the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem as well as the rebuilding of the spiritual lives of the Jews who had returned from captivity. When the Israelites returned to Jerusalem after their long captivity in Babylon, they found their city in ruins. The protective wall around the city of Jerusalem had been reduced to rubble, which left the Israelites vulnerable to attacks by their enemies. Under the direction of Nehemiah, the Israelites began to rebuild the wall” (“Introduction to the Book of Nehemiah,” Old Testament Seminary and Teacher Manual, ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
Ezra = Help
Nehemiah = Comfort of God
2 Chronicles 36:23 (King Cyrus announces the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem)
Ezra 1:4, 7–8 (Cyrus gives everything the Jews need to build a temple)
Ezra 2:64–65 (The number of people who volunteered to rebuild the temple)
Picture: The view of the temple from Tyler’s backyard
Dubai Temple Story Link: Jackson Payne, “Education Week: How to best support today’s youth,” The Daily Universe, August 17, 2021
According to Josephus, when King Cyrus read the prophecies of Isaiah (Isaiah fit in back before the Babylonia captivity) he “admired the divine power, and earnest desire and ambition seized upon him to fulfill what was so written” (Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, bk. 11, chap. 1. Paras 1-2).
Ezra 3:10–13 (How the Jews reacted to the temple foundation ceremony)
Ezra 4:1–2 (Samaritans offer to help build the temple)
Ezra 4:4 (Samaritans are rejected and work to stop the rebuilding of the temple)
Ezra 5:1–3 (The Lord sends people to help start the rebuilding of the temple)
Adversaries = Samaritans
“The People of Judah rejected their request and as a result, the Samaritans turned against the people of Judah and the construction of the temple and will eventually try to build their own temple” (“Samaritans,” Bible Dictionary, ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
“The Samaritans were ‘the descendants of (1) foreign colonists placed there by kings of Assyria and Babylonia (2 Kgs. 17:24; Ezra 4:2, 10); (2) Israelites who escaped at the time of the captivity. The population was therefore partly Israelite and partly gentile. Their religion was also of a mixed character (see 2 Kgs. 17:24–41)’ (Bible Dictionary, “Samaritans”)” (“Lesson 107: Ezra,” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Material (2018), ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
Ezra 5:5 (The Lord gives the Jews permission to rebuild the temple)
Ezra 6 (The Jews finish rebuilding the temple)
Ezra 7:1 (Ezra is introduced)
Ezra 9:1–3 (Ezra is informed of interfaith marriage among the Jews)
Ezra 10:10–11 (Ezra encourages the Jews to separate themselves from spiritual darkness)
Separate = Badal = Separate between light and darkness
“The word saint in Greek denotes ‘set apart, separate, [and] holy’ [in Daniel H. Ludlow, ed., Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 5 vols. (1992), 3:1249]. If we are to be Saints in our day, we need to separate ourselves from evil conduct and destructive pursuits that are prevalent in the world.
“We are bombarded with visual images of violence and immorality. Inappropriate music and pornography are increasingly tolerated. The use of drugs and alcohol is rampant. There is less emphasis on honesty and character. Individual rights are demanded, but duties, responsibilities, and obligations are neglected. There has been a coarsening of dialogue and increased exposure to that which is base and vulgar. The adversary has been relentless in his efforts to undermine the plan of happiness. If we separate ourselves from this worldly conduct, we will have the Spirit in our lives and experience the joy of being worthy Latter-day Saints” (Elder Quentin L. Cook, “Are You a Saint?” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2003, 95).
Nehemiah 1:1 (Nehemiah is introduced)
Nehemiah 1:11 (Nehemiah asks for permission to go to Jerusalem)
Nehemiah 2:1–6 (The king grants permission to go to Jerusalem)
Nehemiah 4:6–9 (Nehemiah is met with adversity when trying to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem)
Nehemiah 4:14–23 (Nehemiah rallies the people to build the wall)
Nehemiah 6:1–9 (Nehemiah receives letters to meet with his enemies but he doesn’t leave his work)
Terrible = Awesome
“It is the plain and very sobering truth that before great moments, certainly before great spiritual moments, there can come adversity, opposition, and darkness. Life has some of those moments for us, and occasionally they come just as we are approaching an important decision or a significant step in our life… opposition that so often comes after enlightened decisions have been made, after moments of revelation and conviction have given us a peace and an assurance we thought we would never lose” (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “’Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence,’” March 2000 Ensign).
“Think of the power we would have as individuals … if, in response to every temptation to lose focus or lower our standards—the standards of God, we responded, ‘I am doing a great work and cannot come down’ [see Nehemiah 6:3]” (Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “We Are Doing a Great Work and Cannot Come Down,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2009, 62).
Nehemiah 8:1–3 (Ezra reads the book of the law)
Nehemiah 8:6 (The people’s reaction to the reading of the book of the law)
Nehemiah 8:10 (The joy of the Lord is your strength)
Nehemiah 8:14–15 (The Jews celebrate)
Nehemiah 11–12 (The walls are finished)
Nehemiah 13:8 (Nehemiah is grieved to see the people have stopped worshiping)
Nehemiah 13:14 (Nehemiah prays his good deeds won’t be wiped out)
Nehemiah 13:22 (Nehemiah commands the Levites to cleanse themselves)
Nehemiah 13:31 (Prays to be remembered for good)
CR: Alma 26:12
“Tradition says that Ezra gathered up all the sacred writings—the Torah, the Prophets, and the other writings. The Talmud even asserts that those books which were missing, he rewrote. Whether or not that is true, it is quite certain that this was a period of collection, standardization, and canonization of the great Hebrew scriptures, our Old Testament, that have come down to us.
“This is also likely the time of the beginning of oral translation of the scriptures from the literary Hebrew into the common language of the people. For some it would have entailed paraphrasing the literature in the vernacular; for some it would have required translation into the spoken Aramaic that was becoming the lingua franca of the Near East at the time. This would be the beginning of the Targums (Hebrew, Targumim, “translations”). Oral portions of the Targumim were permitted; written portions were later permitted, and finally whole translations appear to have been sanctioned but not until the early centuries after Christ” (Andrew C. Skinner, D. Kelly Ogden, Verse by Verse: The Old Testament, Vol. 2: 1 Kings through Malachi, Deseret Book)
Who are my builders out there? Are you a crafts person who understands the following words: codes, contractors, subcontractors, blueprints, floor plans, measurements, materials, carpenters, masons, performance gap, a scope creep, and woodworking? If so, what role does the Lord play in the things you build? And in getting it done? Let's find out as we study the books of Ezra and Nehemiah in this week's lesson. Welcome to the Sunday on Monday Study Group, a Deseret Plus original brought to you by LDS Living, where we take the Come, Follow Me lesson for the week and we really dig into the scriptures together. I'm your host, Tammy Uzelac Hall.
Now if you're new to our study group, we just want to make sure you know how to use this podcast. So follow the link in our description; it's going to explain how you can best use this podcast to enhance your Come, Follow Me study, just like my very good friends who I love: Bart and Melissa Amundson. And Bart, this one's for you. Now, here's my favorite thing about this study group, is each week we're joined by two of my friends so it's always a little different, but this week it's not. We have the dynamic duo! We have Tyler Collet and Abe Mills. Hi, guys.
Tyler Collet 1:04
Abe Mills 1:04
I'm never not gonna put you two together. I'm sorry. You're just my favorite.
Tyler Collet 1:10
Well, I can see why Abe is great. I love Abe.
Abe Mills 1:14
No, Tyler is great. Tyler's great. And you are great, Tammy. Thank you for having us together.
Tyler Collet 1:18
Tammy is definitely great.
Oh, I'm great. Let's talk about what IS great, because we were just talking about this before we started. But for those of you who are new or don't know, the three of us grew up together. I mean, it's amazing how we do things. And Abe, for those of you who probably didn't remember ,was a part of Jericho Road, the band! And he's also done some really cool acting; he's been in commercials. Tyler's a cop. I mean, and here we are doing a podcast. It's so cool.
Abe Mills 1:46
Pretty awesome, man.
Tyler Collet 1:48
I can't believe it.
Yeah, who would have guessed that at church dances we would have ended up here.
Tyler Collet 1:54
Abe Mills 1:54
Listen. If you saw us at church dances, you probably would have had your doubts.
You and your Gerbeau jeans
Tyler Collet 2:00
And I. O. U.
Yeah, exactly. So hilarious. Well, if you want to find out more information about my guests and read their bios, you can find them in our show notes which are at LDS living.com/sundayonMonday. So I'm curious if either of you ever built anything - you guys builders?
Tyler Collet 2:18
Legos. Listen, does that count?
Abe Mills 2:24
I would definitely not call myself a builder. But I have recently been building stuff in my house.
Abe Mills 2:31
Well, so we put a shed in the back. And so I've been putting in walls. I built a closet in the bathroom, and built some flower, some of those like flower boxes, I guess, out front and put like palm trees in it and things like that. So it's , I would say that
Yeah, you're a builder
Abe Mills 2:48
kind of a builder now.
You're totally a builder.
Abe Mills 2:52
I'm not great at it. But
Tyler Collet 2:55
Time is worth money to me. And so I just, I pay someone that builds. It's probably a better, probably a better way.
My claim to building is after I graduated from college, I needed a job so bad that my cousin hired me. He is a professional drywaller and he hired me to learn how to drywall. I can drywall anything; I can hang mud and tape drywall.
Abe Mills 3:16
I coulda used you about a month ago.
Well, next time call me. I'll fly down to Florida. I'll help you drywall, anything. I'm really good, I've got some skills. I'm telling you.
Abe Mills 3:20
Wow! That's impressive.
There were no other women that can drywall because, I'm telling you, it's the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. It is the hardest form of labor. And I've had kids. So anybody that drywalls out there, hats off to you because I've never sweat more in my life. Ho!
Tyler Collet 3:41
You definitely sweat here.
All right, well, all of this, this building talk, I want you to kind of be thinking about this because without giving anything away, the Israelites were given the task to build something. And so we're going to discuss what it is in today's episode. So grab your scriptures or something to mark them with, and a journal, and let's dig in. So I'm gonna give you guys a quick historical background to the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. So turn there in your scriptures. And we're going to flip a little bit back and forth so you can write some things. Here's what you need to know. In the original Hebrew, Ezra and Nehemiah were one book because they cover about the same time period. And Ezra and Nehemiah are still a part of the historical books. We are not in the prophets yet.
Now the book of Ezra, it does contain some material that's written as first-person memoir form, but we don't actually know who combined everything. And some scholars agree that whoever it was they also wrote First and Second Chronicles. Now Ezra picks up where Chronicles leaves off, so we'll kind of talk about that a little bit later. Now the author of Nehemiah, he is not known, but the book reads sort of like an autobiography. So some believe that Nehemiah did write it because Nehemiah 1:1 actually says the words of Nehemiah, so that there's some stuff that makes people think of somebody else also contributed to Nehemiah.
Now, at the top of your page where you see the name Ezra, I want you to write underneath that name what it means in Hebrew. So in Hebrew, the name Ezra means "help". And then turn to Nehemiah. And let's write what Nehemiah - his name - means. Turn to that page. They're pretty short books, but they're packed with a lot of information. Nehemiah's name means "comfort of God". So we have "help" and "comfort of God". And after today's study we're going to see the significance of their names and why these two books were originally one.
So a little background is that Jews are in captivity for 70 years, until the King of Persia, King Cyrus comes along. He captures Babylon, conquers the Babylonians, and he becomes the new ruler of the Jews. Now go with me to 2 Chronicles 36:22. So this is where the book of Ezra starts. Abe, will you read verse 22 for us.
Abe Mills 5:46
2 CHR 36:22 "Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing saying,"
Would you like me to show you what he says? T
No, that's our cliff-hanger.
Tyler Collet 6:07
Don't say anything.
So in the next segment, we're gonna find out what his proclamation said. Dun-dun-DUN!
segment 2 6:11
I'm gonna give you guys a fill-in-the-blank question. So I need you to just to sit back, close your eyes, and imagine this scenario. Picture yourself at the very last session of General Conference. You may be tired, and you thought, If I just fall asleep, I can read it when it comes out. Listen, no judgement here. I've thought that, done it. But then you remember, Wait, it's the very last session when our Prophet President Russell M. Nelson will speak at the very end. And traditionally he announces..........
Yes, right. We all agree. Oh, is that the most exciting you? Do you guys make your kids gather around?
Abe Mills 6:53
Oh, yeah. It's very exciting. My kids. I don't have to make them gather around. They always do because they're all excited about it as well.
It's the most exciting. Has there ever been a temple announcement that excited you, that you cheered?
Two for me.
Okay. Tyler, what two for you?
Tyler Collet 7:09
Well, first being the St. Louis temple; having lived in St. Louis we would travel up to Chicago. That was the closest temple for us. And that was a seven-hour drive one way. But that was a wonderful experience to have St. Louis get one, being born and raised there, you know, do that. The second is, of course, the Saratoga Springs Temple, which is 7 minutes from the house. I mean, that's, it's so close. We could walk there, literally. And we did actually; I think cheer on that one.
Great examples. Those are so good. Okay, what about you, Abe?
Abe Mills 7:45
Yeah, well, I mean, I think that I can speak for all of us when I say that when the St. Louis was announced that we all probably cheered.
Oh, we did.
Abe Mills 7:52
That was definitely, the STL, was my first choice. And I ended up getting married there. So.
Oh, awesome. Very good.
Abe Mills 8:00
Yeah. And then our youngest son, we got sealed. He got sealed to us there too, as well. So special temple for me.
Tyler Collet 8:08
That is awesome.
That is very cool. That’s a great one.
Tyler Collet 8:10
Yeah. And then the other one I would say is Houston, because that was where I served my mission. And when I heard of that one, I was so excited. And yeah, Houston. It was only a few years after I left too, so maybe five years or so after I left.
Pretty awesome. There's just something about that announcement. I cry every time.
Tyler Collet 8:31
What about you, Tammy?
Oh, gosh, okay, Tyler. For me, that is a great question. And I'm gonna say 100% the temple in China. Because my kids are in the Chinese immersion program right now. My girls speak fluent Chinese. And then when they announced that temple in China, I just, I got the chills. And it's the coolest, so. I don't know if they'll go to China but if they did, that'd be cool.
Tyler Collet 8:55
it is awesome.
So yeah, I did love that. And then the Dubai, I cried when I heard Dubai, because that's a pretty miraculous story. So in fact, here's the story. There was this cute young Muslim girl who had relocated from the Middle East to the Salt Lake Valley with her family years earlier. She was immediately fellowshipped by a young group of women. And then her family moved back. Then she grew up and she ended up working for the government in Dubai. And across her desk came an application from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for a temple. And she remembered how nice those young girls were. She personally shepherded that application to all the people that needed to sign off on building a temple in Dubai. And then it's so cool that that story was shared by the by President Lund. And he said that, at that time, those young girls who were her friends, they thought they were just being friends, when really they were building a temple. So it's just an incredible story about how we're building temples without physically building temples,
Abe Mills 9:53
Or, you know, the way that we go about our lives on a daily basis. It matters and not just because of a temple being built, but because of the way it makes people feel and you know, the way that it affects people's lives.
Yeah. It's so powerful. And I'm so grateful that you just shared that, Abe. And it gives us a lot of pause to think about how we're building temples, especially in light of the story. And Ezra, because the announcement that the king made had something to do with the temple. Let's go right to 2 Chronicles again, chapter 36: 23. Okay, while we're turning the 2 Chronicles, just real quick, we are going to do a post on social media this week asking for you to share what temple caused you to cheer. So if there was a temple announcement that you were so excited about, go on social media and share it with us. I can't wait to find out what your answers were. Okay, why don't you finish the story? Let's find out what King Cyrus' proclamation was in 2 Chronicles 36:23.
Abe Mills 10:45
36:23" Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the Lord God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? The Lord his God be with him and let him go up."
Whoa! What did they get to build?
Abe Mills 11:09
They get to build a temple, man. And this is the king of Persia. This is crazy.
It is so crazy. In fact, this was really interesting. According to Josephus, when King Cyrus read the prophecies of Isaiah - now that's important for us to know - because Isaiah fit in back before the Babylonian captivity. So Isaiah has already happened, even though he won't read his words till later. King Cyrus was reading Isaiah. And then this is what Josephus said, "He admired the divine power and earnest desire and ambition seized upon him to fulfill what was so written."
And so when Cyrus allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple, he was fulfilling prophecy and that's why you saw Jeremiah's name in verse 22, when he talked about how it had been spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah. You can cross reference that with Jeremiah 25:11,. Just put that to the outside. Well it is a prophecy that Cyrus will build the temple. And Jeremiah 29:10. Another cross reference is Isaiah 44:28; and Isaiah 45:1.
Abe Mills 12:10
So this is actually kind of just like the story you just told us. He was being prepared long beforehand. When the paper came across his desk, oh, God was like, Here you go. And he came out and said it, which is like pretty amazing.
Abe, I totally had chills when you told me that. Hold on. I gotta write that down. That is so good. You're totally right.
Abe Mills 12:32
It's shocking when you look at it in the perspective of like, that story that you just told. It's like, Oh, wow. That's what God just did. He put it in him. And you just told us he'd been reading Isaiah. I mean, I've read Isaiah, you know. I mean, if this guy can understand Isaiah, he's really, he's got the spirit, man.
He totally does. That is such a great aspect. I love the way that you just viewed that because now I'm sitting here thinking, How is the Lord preparing me for the temple that I'll build? And what is He doing with all of us to orchestrate His works? Isn't that amazing? Oh my gosh, I hope I don't ever let something pass by my desk that needs to be signed. That is good, Abe. That is so good. Okay, well, let's do it. Let's just jump into Ezra then. Let's go into Ezra chapter 1, and let's look at verses 4, then 7 and 8 . And we want to find out what Cyrus did to help the Jews in their efforts to build the temple. So Tyler, will you please read Ezra 1:4.1
Tyler Collet 13:32
EZR 1:4 " And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver and with gold and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem."
And then skip down and read 7 And 8.
1:7 "Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods;
8 "Even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath" (did I say that right? You did.) "Mithredath the treasurer and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah."
Hey, nice job. Very good. So how would you sum up what Cyrus was willing to give the Jews to build their temple?
Tyler Collet 14:23
Basically, everything that's needed.
Yeah, right? That's exactly what it was. And then if you jump into Ezra chapter two, it just lists all the names of those who are willing to go and build the temple. So Cyrus is like, anybody who wants to build? come and build. But look at verses 64 and 65. Tell me how many people volunteered to go build.? Look at Ezra 2:64,65.
Tyler Collet 14:52
It's going to be a whole congregation which is 42,303score; and their servants who were 7337. And then there were among them 200 singing men and women.
Wow, who can run the numbers on that? Do the math.
Singing men and singing women, I could do that for the temple.
You would have been there.
Abe Mills 15:17
Yeah, I would have been like, Listen, I can sing. Is that okay? Yeah, go ahead. Yeah, that's like 40. What's that like? 40,50? That's 55,000, 56,000 people and their camels.
Tyler Collet 15:33
Yeah, and their horses, and mules
Abe Mills 15:36
and mules. That's a lot of food
Tyler Collet 15:40
everybody. This is what we're doing.
This is what we're doing. Now, I want you to consider this for a minute, because for 70 years, they've been living in captivity. For 70 years life has been hard. And now they get an announcement, You get to go and build your temple. How do you think they responded to this?
Abe Mills 15:59
I think they were excited.
Tyler Collet 16:01
I think a lot of may not have even known how to feel. They had been through it. And, you know, they didn't know how to act. They didn't know how to act when they came out of it. And,
Abe Mills 16:09
You know, that's a good point just they're beside, yeah, they're besides themselves, man. They were like, what does it mean? They're probably jumping up and down. They're like, wait a minute, what does that mean?
Tyler Collet 16:18
I look at it as 70 years, right? So I look at it as the grandparents are the ones that that may be more excited about this, because they understand it better. Whereas the younger generation? You know, I don't get what the big deal is, right?
Abe Mills 16:36
Well, maybe they maybe they, they realize there was something special about it, but they just didn't know what it was.
Tyler Collet 16:41
Yeah, that's a better way of putting it.
I think you're right, because think about it. 70 years without a temple. These kids would be like, Well, what does that mean? Like, we've heard about it. We've heard stories, when you put it into our own context of today, and many of us had to go without going to the temple just for a few years because of COVID. And I asked you guys ahead of time to think about this. Has there been a time in your life where you've had these feelings attached to attending the temple after a long absence?
Tyler Collet 17:08
My instance was shortly after my divorce. I wasn't stalwart, right? We know this. We've talked about this in the past. Tithing, other things. Well, in the process of that I'd lost my recommend. And it had been some time that, you know, I was able to get my recommend back. And it was right after I married Caralee, that we got our temple recommends back. So it had been, you know, a few years. I don't remember the temple that we went to, but it was for Donna's wedding, if you remember that.
Tyler Collet 17:45
Was it? Okay, it was the Salt Lake Temple.
I remember that moment. We were all in the chapel waiting.
Tyler Collet 17:50
We, yeah, Caralee and I showed up, it was a big surprise. No one was expecting it. And that in and of itself was wonderful. But this feeling that I had, I had lost that feeling over the course of those years, uh came back and just reconfirmed to me that, you know, the importance of being worthy to attend the temple and everything. It was a great experience. It really was.
It's a great story. I remember that moment. It was such, I'll never forget the embrace. Like we all stood up and hugged you and Caralee, and it was just a beautiful moment for our family. It was really cool. That's a great one, Tyler. What about you, Abe?
Abe Mills 18:31
I was just thinking about just going back after, you know, after we couldn't go for so long because of the pandemic, you know. It was, I want to say in some ways, it's kind of like, you kind of miss going to the temple, but at the same time you kind of get used to like just being the way that you feel without going to the temple. When we went back this time, we got a chance to take my youngest daughter who she had just become eligible to interview and go to the temple and perform baptisms. It was amazing to go back, and you get this feeling when you go there. You're like, wow, I didn't realize that I missed it that much. I didn't realize that that feeling was so necessary. In some ways it's almost like you didn't know that you weren't missing it, or that you were missing it. You didn't know what you were missing.
So when you're in a situation like these people were, where you can't go for years and years and years. I mean, you're talking about a generation, right? So a generation didn't know how important that was. It's kind of hard. It'd be like, think about, like if my kids grew up and didn't go to the temple till they were 90 and the temple was announced and said, Okay, now you can go back. That's a, that's really interesting to think about how will we react to that?
Yeah, definitely. I appreciate both of you, the stories that you shared. And in thinking about that younger generation, I was so excited when I took my girls to go do baptisms for the dead. After COVID we finally got to go back. And they had a prayer roll in the baptistry for the teenagers. And I remember my daughter saying, Mom, what is this? And I got to explain, it's this really cool thing called the prayer roll. They ate it up. And so every time they go, they feel invested in not only the work they're doing in the temple, but for people who are alive that they love. And you just saw them catch on fire.
And I kind of want to believe that's what it might have been like here. As they were building the temple and as older generations were telling younger generations, It's so cool, you're gonna love this. And then in Ezra, 3:2, the very first thing they built is in the middle of that verse, and it was the altar of God. And for nearly two years, they are going to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings, but there was one major thing in the building process that they lacked. And it took almost two years to build it. I will show you what that is in the next segment.
Segment 3 20:25
I took this from the TV show "This Old House". D0 you guys remember that TV show "This Old House"?
Tyler Collet 20:59
Yeah. Do I remember the catalog?
Oh, sure. Sure. Okay. So I love what it said about this major item that the Jews lacked. See if you can guess what it is from this description that I got on "This Old House". You ready? Here's what it says. This item "keeps out moisture, insulates against the cold, and resists movement of the Earth around it." Oh, and one more thing, "it should last forever." What do you think it is?
Tyler Collet 21:26
I'm gonna go out on a limb and say a wall.
Ooh, a wall. Okay,
Abe Mills 21:31
I was kind of guessing roof. But then, you know, a couple of those things wouldn't necessarily be a roof.
Um-hm. Okay, here we go. Let's go to Ezra 3:10. And we're going to find out what the item was they had to build. Here's the answer. Abe, read until you find out what the item is in verse 10.
Abe Mills 21:49
3:10 "And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord," I guess is that the foundation?
It is. Good job
Tyler Collet 21:57
Abe Mills 21:59
You are not a builder.
Tyler Collet 22:01
Abe Mills 22:02
Yeah. Well, you can't really have a roof unless you have a foundation either. So I guess we were voted out on that one.
Oh, I love it. I love it. Okay, highlight that word. So they had not built a foundation. Tyler, you remember this; Abe, you had already moved. Do you remember when they did the cornerstone and all that stuff in the St. Louis temple and the big ceremony they had for that?
Tyler Collet 22:21
Oh, yes. Yeah.
Like, what was that like? Tell me. Do you remember anything from it?
Tyler Collet 22:26
Uh, well, there were a lot of people there to watch. You know, I felt like it was kind of a big deal because my understanding, that's the strongest piece, right? Is that
Tyler Collet 22:36
Abe Mills 22:38
Maybe you could be a builder.
Tyler Collet 22:41
But, but it, no, it was special because that's like, okay, now the work can continue. It can progress, it can move along. Now, that piece was very important. That's what I remember from it.
Well, the reason I wanted to talk about that cornerstone ceremony is it was so joyous for us, Tyler, it was awesome. But here's the crazy and cool thing is you can't lay a cornerstone without a solid foundation. And so going back into Ezra, the temple could not be built without a solid foundation. So let's look back at Ezra 3:11-13 and read about the Jews' reaction to the foundation being laid. I know I asked you earlier how you would react, we actually have an accounting of how they did react at this foundation kind of ceremony. It's really awesome. I'm going to read them. And as I do, I want you guys to grab your pens or pencils. Highlight and mark the emotions that they were experiencing as they began to lay the foundation and build the temple. Here we go.
EZR 3:11 "And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the Lord; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.
12 "But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:
13 "So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off."
How did they react? What did you mark?
Abe Mills 24:15
They praised, they shouted. I mean, yeah, it's like, great shout.
Tyler Collet 24:22
Praise the Lord. You know, what comes into my mind on that? And I know it's not necessarily the same. But when we read this, the first thing that comes into my mind to great shout, and praising the Lord is the Hosanna shout.
Oh, yeah. It's a great connection to that wording right there. Oh, I think that's awesome.
Abe Mills 24:43
It says here also that they wept with a loud voice. You know, when you think about the times when you really feel the spirit, and you have real joy in your heart, a lot of those times it brings tears spontaneously. And so it was something that touched them, their hearts.
Well, and you brought this up in the last segment, about how the older generation, how they might be feeling. And it says that there in verse 12. And those are the ones that wept like this. We used to have it, it was so amazing. And now, you know, we get it back. What effect do you think that would have on the younger generation to see them weeping and shouting with joy?
Tyler Collet 25:24
I think it would tell that younger generation just how important this really is. To see the crusty old grandpa weeping, you know, and shouting for joy. I think it probably inspired the younger generation to move forward with this.
Abe Mills 25:43
Yeah, I mean, I don't know culturally, like much about that era. But I would imagine that there wasn't a lot of crying going around. Like you said, Tyler, they're probably stern old dudes out there. You know, and then all of a sudden, you see, they see these guys crying. And, you know, it says even that they couldn't discern between the noises of the shouting and the noises of the weeping. Because like man, this must be serious, you know? I know if I saw my dad crying about something I'd probably be like, Alright, let me take notice. And I'm talking about like, at my age I'd be taking notice - my dad, like if he's cryin', right. It just kind of grabs your attention, and really accentuates the point that this is serious.
And it definitely accentuated the point for us as we read that, like you can feel it, how incredible this moment must have been. And it really truly was. And they're coming again from 70 years of captivity. You wonder how many other experiences did they have like this? Probably not any. This amount, like you said, Abe. To feel the spirit this way, and to have this much joy must have just been this kind of a Pentecostal moment, you know, Day of Pentecost, just filling the spirit.
Abe Mills 26:53
The other thing that makes me think of is, their experience with the king was not good. I mean, they were slaves to the king, right? So when the king took over, they probably were like, man, you know, we never, it's never gonna happen for us. It's almost like man, we actually have something that, you know, is coming out of this faith and hope that we've had for so long. I'm sure that they were just like, overwhelmed.
Okay, I've never thought of that before until now. They've been living in captivity. And now they have a new king and they're like, Oh, great. Here we go again. How bad will this new king be? So. Ooh, that's so good Abe. Great insight. Yeah, I like that. Okay, well, unfortunately, the joy in the weeping was not long lasted, because you go into Ezra 4, and look at verse 1. The first thing we're introduced to is a word: "Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin". Highlight 'adversaries'. The adversaries are actually the Samaritans, so mark that. When the Samaritans, the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of captivity builded the temple into the Lord God of Israel, look what they did. Tyler read verse 2; I'm gonna give you all the verses with the really hard names, just so we're clear.
Tyler Collet 28:06
Yes, thank you for doing so, it keeps me humble.
Yeah, verse 2, good luck with that.
Tyler Collet 28:11
4:2 "Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esar-haddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither."
Very good, not bad, not bad at all.
Tyler Collet 28:32
In researching this, as far as the Sumerians goin', they initially came up to want to help. I actually found this off of lds.org on the seminary manual. It stated that they did want to help but they had actually married outside of the covenant, and they incorporated pagan beliefs, which is one of the main reasons why they were said no, we don't want anything to do with you guys.
You're totally right, Tyler. That's exactly why the, they're like, Nope, we don't need your help, because you're not truly believers in Jehovah. They were a split nation as to religious beliefs. That's what we have here. The Samaritans, they weren't really believers. They were partial believers. So as a result, the people of Judah, they actually rejected the request of the Samaritans. They're like, No, you cannot help us you; don't believe in the same God that we do. And so the Samaritans turned against the people of Judah, and the construction of the temple. And they're eventually going to try and build their own temple. So that is worthy of knowing throughout the story here and when we get to Nehemiah. Now, let's go into Ezra chapter 4:4, and Abe, will you please read that for us?
Abe Mills 29:33
4:4 "Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah and troubled them in building,:
They do not want them to build their temple, the temple, the foundation and the walls, none of it. However, they continue to be built, and the adversaries, they are going to grow stronger and stronger. And they're going to convince the Persian government that the people of Judah were troublemakers, and that nothing good would come from their temple being built. And as a result, there's actually a restraining order put on the completion of the temple, which will stand for 15 years. And this is where the contention with the Samaritans in the New Testament stems from. So think about this now: they got to start building, they lay their foundation, restraining order. Now, they're not going to build for 15 years. Do you think there's a possibility that they might lose interest in rebuilding the temple?
Abe Mills 30:22
I can only imagine some of those people thinking, we thought it was there. But here it is, again, these people are going to try to stop us. I can't imagine what kind of animosity it might have had now towards the Samaritans, and perhaps even the people of Persia for listening to the Samaritans, I'm sure it was not a good day for them.
In fact, they cease to build and they kind of lose a little bit of interest. And so the Lord, He's got to stir the people up again. So He's going to send in some men, His 1st string. Just go to Ezra 5 and look at verses 1,2 and mark the names of the men that the Lord sent. It says, Then the prophets Haggai, the prophet, and Zechariah. Then we have in verse 2 Zerubbabel, and he would be like a governor. And then we also have Jeshua. So this is so great. The Lord sends them and He says, All right, let's get back. Let's get busy. And in this experience, right here, the adversaries and some of the government officials were not pleased that they're going to start building again. In fact, Tyler, will you read verse 3, because again, there's some hard names, and that's gonna be the theme of our episode.
Tyler Collet 31:25
5;3 "At the same time came to them Tatnai, governor on this side the river, and Shethar-boznal, and their companions, and said thus unto them, Who hath commanded you to build this house, and to make up this wall?"
So they're like, Who gave you permission? You shouldn't be starting this. So in the next segment, we're going to find out who exactly granted them permission.
Segment 4 31:49
All right, let's go to Ezra 5:5. Tell me who gave the men permission to resume work on the temple? Read the whole thing for us, Tyler.
Tyler Collet 32:02
5:5 "But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, that they could not cause them to cease, till the matter came to Darius: and then they returned answer by letter concerning this matter."
Who gave this man permission? There's a phrase that tells us.
Tyler Collet 32:19
"The eye of their god".
Yeah, highlight that; mark that; star it; everything. I think this is such a cool verse, "But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews." What do you think it means when it says "the eye of their God was upon them that they could not" cease?
Abe Mills 32:35
I was just gonna say, I think they felt the weight of what God wanted them to do. We all know that God tells us to do things. And then there's always going to be something that tries to keep us from doing it. And so, you know, they probably, those people who were the Elders of the Jews, they probably saw that, you know. God still wants us to do this, regardless of what everybody else is saying and trying to get us to do and so they had their eye, it had their eye on. I mean, it's like, what's, what's the name, and there was a song about history having its eye on you? I think it was out of the Hamilton musical. So it's almost like, you know, but it's like, history has its eye on you.
And that's why some of them were making no decision because they like, Man, they're gonna look back at this. And so these guys are like, Man, God has His eye on me. That's like the better version. You know what I'm saying? History has its eye on me as God has His eye on me. God has His eye on me and so I better, I better do the right thing. And so they were more concerned about what God wanted, which is actually a big step up for a lot of what those guys had experienced since leaving Egypt.
Wow, that was great. I like that. What about you, Ty?
Tyler Collet 33:48
I think that tells me that they knew God was with them. And no matter what tribulation or what contention, whatever was brought to them, I think they had enough faith in God knowing that He would support them. He would see them through this to where it's like, Okay, we can do this. It's we've got God on our side and no matter what opposition comes to us, we can make it through.
Abe Mills 34:20
Listen, if God tells you that you should be doing it, you shouldn't let nobody named Darius take you out. I will tell Darius I said, like Oh, really? Okay, go ahead. And so Darius got his eyes on me.
God has His eyes on me. Well, I asked you, I asked both of you to come prepared with a story. Do you have one when you felt like the eye of God was upon you?
Tyler Collet 34:51
What's yours Tyler?
Tyler Collet 34:54
In 2011 I believe, we were I was working patrol, it was the week of Thanksgiving. I wasn't supposed to be working, it was my day off but I chose to come in anyways to work on some reports before Thanksgiving that Thursday. And a buddy of mine came in and said, "Hey, we're going to serve, we're going to serve a warrant; we're going to hit this house and serve a warrant there. Do you want in?" "Yeah, I want in. That's exciting to me." And so we did our briefing, we are advised that the guy is selling illegal narcotics out of the home, there's weapons in the home. But all of us there in that small group were either on SWAT or formerly on SWAT. So no big deal, we've done this 100 times, you know. let's get it done and over with so I can finish my reports and go home. This was a no-knock search warrant, which those who don't know what that means, it means that we don't need to knock and say, Hey, we would like to speak to so-and-so. So this means that we can just make entry into the home.
And it's the moment that we start hitting the door, we start yelling as loud as we can "police search warrant, police search warrant", so those that are inside the home know who we are, what we're doing, neighbors can hear us, so we're announcing our presence by that time. Well, as we were trying to make entry into the home, we failed several times. But then we heard the sound of gunshots coming from the inside of the apartment. And we kind of looked at each other. And we're like, is this guy shooting at us? And sure enough, he had fired off four rounds; there were, I don't know, maybe five of us - four or five of us on the landing trying to make entry into this house, this apartment. And all the other guys scattered. Long story short, it turned out to where the team in the back had to make entry, come and open the door for us.
But during that course of the individual inside shooting at us, I was struck in my mic on my gear, a little one inch by one-inch square mic ironically stopped a bullet. And looking at it, and we didn't know that until days later. But looking back at it, I wasn't wearing my ballistic vest, so that could have very well penetrated, you know? my arm bounced around, cause damage, maybe even fatal. But looking back at it, it's like what are the odds that the last round he fires enters a little one inch by one inch metal mic, you know? So to me, the Eye of God was definitely upon me, upon my guys that were there with me. No doubt my mind. Were we being watched over by the eye of God. And we were still able to accomplish our objective; we arrested the guy. But yeah, it was definitely, definitely the eye of God upon us.
Wow. That's great story. Thank you for sharing that Tyler. That was astounding to all of us. I remember when Caralee told us that it happened. And it is the smallest, one inch by one inch. It's truly, there's no other way to explain it. The Eye of God was upon Tyler Collet. What about you, Abe?
Abe Mills 38:17
Well, first of all, I would like to request that my story goes first, cuz that, I don't know if I can. I didn't have, I didn't have nobody shootin at me.
It's all relative; I'm sure it will be good.
Abe Mills 38:31
I'm just, I'm just messin, you can keep it in order. But I think that's amazing. That's an amazing story. I'm just like, all right, now. But it is amazing how God has His eye on us and when we started doing what we do right now with YouTube, there was a time where it was kind of like, we were trying to figure out how deep we were in and we wanted to take our kids abroad, you know. And we had signed up for this contest where we could win a job in Cancun, Mexico. And ultimately, we didn't get that job. But we had paid for like $1,000 worth of passports. So one way or the other, we go into another, we goin to another country. Paid for that. You know, I had a buddy that lived in Guatemala, and served a mission in Guatemala and had done some work down there. And I asked him what he thought and if we could go do service projects down there.
And so he connected me with a bunch of people in Guatemala. And we started, we had no money, man. We were like, all right, what are we going to do? So we started, we started by performing these concerts at our house and people would come to our house. I mean, you imagine, we get like 10 to 20 people in our house. We're doing concerts, and people are donating money. After we did three concerts at our house, we had enough money to buy plane tickets. So we had no money to buy 10 plane tickets - we bought the plane tickets, and we started setting in motion all these opportunities to do these service projects just thinking, Man I don't know how we're gonna make this because we're going to be there for almost a month. Like who's going to be working and making the money that we can pay our rent next month and all these other things. And at that point in time, we didn't have, we weren't making enough money off YouTube to do that. But we were just doing what we felt like God wanted us to do.
Ultimately, what happened is, you know, we went there. And while we were there, something miraculous happened. And people started subscribing to our channel and watching our videos. And that month, the income that we had was enough to pay off our rent and the other things that we needed: food and all the major things. But I was like, in my mind, I was like, Alright, so we did what God wanted us to do. And it was kind of crazy, but He like totally took care of it, like it was no, there was no doubt in my mind that God's eye was on us. And that He, He took care of it, He handled it. And there was no doubt in our minds that that was what we were supposed to be doing. That is one of the many opportunities that I've had in my life - to see God's eye upon me.
That's a great story, Abe. And as you were telling that, I have this overwhelming thought that comes back to how we started like, it doesn't matter. We're all building different kinds of temples; whatever temple you're building for God, the Eye of God will be upon you, whether it's the temple in the book of Ezra, or it's the temple for your family, or the Temple where you work. I mean, every one of us have our own place, or the Temple of being in junior high and being nice to a girl who doesn't have any friends and you invite her to eat lunch. Like, whatever it is you're building and where the Lord needs you to build His eye will be upon you. And you just have to trust in that it. It doesn't matter what it looks like, it's magnificent for everyone. So thank you for sharing those stories, you guys. That was awesome.
Tyler Collet 41:40
You know, Abe, one of the as you were sharing your story, one of the words that, one of the simple words that you used really stood out to me right at the end where you said it was one of the many. And that is so true. If we stopped to think about the many, many times that the eye of God has been upon us, it would take a long time to realize, wow, yes, that that and that. Because you're right, there are so many times that the eye of God is on us, and I hope that we can, you know, recognize that and grow upon that. So I really appreciated that you included that "many times."
Um-hmm. So good. That was good. This is so cool. Because in Ezra chapter 5 and 6, the Eye of God was so much upon them, that the people of Judah were inspired with a plan. So this is what they do: They write a letter to the new king, King Darius. Hey, Darius.
Abe Mills 42:38
He came through, Darius came through.
So, informing him that the Jews claimed King Cyrus made a decree allowing them to rebuild the temple and the king also provided them with the resources to accomplish it. So Darius ordered that the King's records be searched, and Cyrus's decree was totally found. And with the help and encouragement of the prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, the Jews finished building the temple, dedicated it to the Lord, and offered sacrifices to Him. And then in Ezra 7:1, look who finally enters the scene. Turn to Ezra 7:1, and who do we finally get to learn about and hear from?
Abe Mills 43:13
Abe Mills 43:17
Yeah, where you been?
Abe Mills 43:19
Yeah, whassup? You finally came in. Now we're almost done with this book.
I know. And here we go. So this is Ezra's role. Now you guys, it had been more than 60 years since the completion of the temple and a new king. Now we have King - hold on - I'm gonna really want you to read this for us, Tyler.
Tyler Collet 43:39
Oh, I'm so glad. Oh, thank you.
7:1 "Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, and the son of Hilkiah,"
Abe Mills 43:54
I think you're getting better, man.
Yes, he IS getting better. Well, and how about, and I love it, Abe gave Tyler a fist bump. He did it.
Abe Mills 44:05
Nice work, bro.
Tyler Collet 44:06
Thank you, thank you.
Oh, so good. So we got this new king of Persia, King Artaxerxes. And listen, he sends a Jewish scribe named Ezra to Jerusalem to appoint government leaders and present an offering to beautify the temple. Now, although the journey was dangerous, Ezra and his traveling companions arrived safely in Jerusalem after they had fasted and prayed and were divinely guided and protected. Now after arriving, we're going to look at Ezra 9:1-3 because we're going to find out what Ezra was met with. He made the arduous journey to meet up with the Jews to add beautification to this temple and look what he sees. Ezra 9:1-3. Abe, will you read this for us, please.
Abe Mills 44:45
EZR 9:1 "Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perrizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.
2 "For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and the rulers hath been chief in this trespass.
3 "And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard and sat down astonished."
Now, while reading those verses might make you think, Oh, you can't be in an interfaith marriage or the Lord doesn't want us to marry people outside of our religious beliefs. That is not what's happening here. What's going on is that because of this intermarriage, that people who were once believers are no longer. They are now practicing the false beliefs of their partners; they have completely abandoned Jehovah. So as a result, the leaders of Jerusalem - now not Ezra - the government leaders of Jerusalem, they encourage Ezra to say to the people, 'Everyone just needs to divorce and we're going to start over.' Now, this is so bizarre because Malalachi - he teaches against divorce. And it's not exactly divorce that's being encouraged. But instead, there's a specific word that is really encouraging the people to do something. It's something that they weren't willing to do.
We're gonna go into Ezra chapter 10. And we're gonna look at verses 10 and 11. I want you to see if there's one specific word that tells us what they needed to do. 10 "And Ezra the priest stood up, and said unto them, Ye have transgressed, and have taken strange wives, to increase the trespass of Israel. 11 "Now therefore make confession unto the Lord God of your fathers and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange wives. "
What's the word? What are they supposed to do? What's the word?
Tyler Collet 46:45
You just said? It? Separate. Separate.
Very good, yes. Now, let's highlight that word. And in Hebrew, here's what this word is. It's badal, B A D A L. And in Hebrew, the word 'separated' means 'separate between light and darkness'. In light of the context of that word, separate, what are we encouraged to separate ourselves from?
Tyler Collet 47:08
What enters my mind, separate is separating yourself from the things of the world, being in the world but not of the world. That's kind of what it means to me. It's,
Abe Mills 47:18
And I think, also, it's also important to have perspective on this being pre-Christ's coming, right, because these people were expected to live the law of Moses, right? And it was kind of like a very written out exact thing that they had to do. Whereas when Christ came, Christ's thing was more like, all that law has been fulfilled. Now, I want you to live a higher law, which is more like what Tyler said, be in the world and not of the world. And so while those specific things of being married to someone of a different faith, that's not, you know, what Christ necessarily what He said. But, you know, we have that higher law to live, to make sure that we're doing the best that we can to follow what God wants us to do. And being able to confess those things that, you know, maybe we need to confess and then to make sure that we invite God into our lives.
I like your connection to the word confess in that, Abe. That was great. Let's read this quote by Quinton L Cook. I really like how he talked about the word 'separate'. And this is in a conference talk. Abe, will you read this for us?
Unknown Speaker 48:24
You bet. "The word Saint in Greek denotes set apart, separate and holy. If we are to be saints in our day, we need to separate ourselves from evil conduct and destructive pursuits that are prevalent in the world. We are bombarded with visual images of violence and immorality, inappropriate music, and pornography are increasingly tolerated. The use of drugs and alcohol is rampant. There is less emphasis on honesty and character. Individual rights are demanded, but duties, responsibilities, and obligations are neglected. There has been a coarsening of dialogue and increased exposure to that which is based in vulgar. The adversary has been relentless in his efforts to undermine the plan of happiness. If we separate ourselves from this worldly conduct, we would have the Spirit in our lives and experience the joy of being worthy Latter-day Saints."
That's so good.
Tyler Collet 49:18
As I looked at that quote, there's a few things that stand out to me. In my Elders Quorum class that I taught this past Sunday, it was on being an example more or less, and I can't remember the conference talk off the top of my head. But it had to do with social media and how to be a peacemaker, that's what it was, by Elder Andersen. It focused a lot on how the 'truth and righteous' is kind of downplayed a lot. And not really, in terms of social media viewed or clicked or liked or hearted. Rather, the things in the world - the immoralities, moralities, the pornoraphies, the inappropriate music, the contention across the world. - that's what's clicked, that's what's liked, that's what's viewed, that's what's hearted. And so that really stands out to me.
The other thing that really stood out to me is the drugs and alcohol. You know, in my profession I'm seeing younger ages getting involved with drugs and alcohol more and more. Now, I'm not naive. I knew there were drugs and alcohol when I was a kid. However, it wasn't popular, wasn't the cool thing when I was a pre-teenager, to be engaged in those activities. And it seems like nowadays that I'm seeing a lot more juveniles coming into the court system for those very things: drugs, alcohol. It's amazing to me just how rampant it's becoming. So this really rings true, it really does.
Wow, Tyler, thank you for that perspective. I think that was really powerful. I appreciate that. All of this just goes back to this discussion we've had about having the Eye of God upon us. I mean, that's the only way we're going to combat Satan's influences of our day. And really deciding what temple we're building. And how we're going to do it is only with the eye of God on us. And so continuing with that theme of having the eye of God upon us, and what are we building? There's another group of people who have to accomplish His purposes, and we're going to show you who they are in the next segment.
Segment 5 51:26
In your opinion, what's one of the most dangerous jobs, and Ty I think you already answered that because you got shot. (laughter) But is there any other job that you think, I'd like to know from a cop perspective, is there a job you think that's scarier than yours?
Tyler Collet 51:46
I know there are.
Tyler Collet 51:48
We get called to accidents all the time on construction workers.
Abe Mills 51:52
Truck drivers, Ice Road truck drivers,
Tyler Collet 51:55
Uh, what about the lobster fishers up in Alaska? That's pretty dangerous, too. There's a lot of dangerous things out there that we do to earn a wage, which is kind of funny.
It totally is dangerous jobs. Well, there is a very dangerous job in Nehemiah 1:11. Before we find out what the dangerous job is, Tyler, I have to have you read Nehemiah 1:1; we want to find out who has this job. So hit it.
Tyler Collet 52:22
NEH 1:1 "The words of Nehemiah, the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,"
Well done, very good. So now what we need to know about Nehemiah is that he's a pretty important person in the castle of the king. And he finds out that the Jews are building the temple and he wants in; he is of the fold. He is of the covenant and he's like, 'I want to go help build. But I don't know if I get time off,' because he has a pretty important job, and a very dangerous one at that. So he goes to the king and asks for permission. And now, Abe, read for us in Nehemiah 1:11 what he says to the king, and what Nehemiah's, job is.
1:11 "O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king's cupbearer."
The job of a cup bearer. This is to me so dangerous, because the whole position - so anybody who held this position was of a high rank. And they had to be totally trusted, because it was their job to give the king his wine. And he was supposed to guard it from any kind of poison or anything that could hurt the king. And on some occasions, he would be asked to drink some of the wine before the king to make sure there was no poison in it. So this is a pretty stressful job. And he's really trusted. And now we're going to see if this trusted person that the king trusts is going to let him leave and go back to Jerusalem.
Go to Nehemiah chapter two. And as you read through verses 1-6, it's just awesome, because one of the things is that Nehemiah says a quick little prayer. So he really wants the king to let him go. And in verse 4: "....the king said unto me, for what dost thou make a request? So I prayed to the God of heaven." Nehemiah is like, Oh, please let him say yes, let him say yes. And then his answer is in verse 6. "And the king said unto me, (the Queen also sitting by him)," You know, thank you. Nehemiah. Thank you for acknowledging that the Queen was there. He would like "Unnamed Women of the Old Testament" series. "For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time."
Yeah. Do you like that? Kind of like a parent: Well, how long are you going to be, what are we talking here? And so then he's like, Go ahead. I'm gonna let you go. So in Nehemiah 2:1-6, he gets permission, and Nehemiah makes it to Jerusalem and he begins to build a very important part. He's going to build the walls, the walls that are going to surround the temple because he heard that that's the one thing that they were lacking. So as he goes to build this now, just like with our story in Ezra, there are adversaries who they're trying to prevent the wall from being built. Now, this is a really interesting theme that we've had throughout here. There's a great quote from Elder Holland that kind of sets up what's going on here and we're going to read this quote. Tyler, I'll let you read something easy - will you read this quote by Elder Holland.
Tyler Collet 55:24
"It is the plain and very sobering truth that before great moments, certainly before great spiritual moments, there can come adversity, opposition, and darkness. Life has some of those moments for us. And occasionally, they come just as we are approaching an important decision, or a significant step in our life. Opposition that so often comes after enlightened decisions have been made, after moments of revelation and conviction have given us a peace and an assurance we thought we would never lose."
No I want you to think about that for a minute because Nehemiah was convinced the Lord told him to go build the walls. And then sure enough, the sobering truth before great moments, there comes an adversity and opposition and a darkness. So turn with me to Nehemiah 4. Verses 6-9 is the first main opposition. And Abe, he's going to sum that up for us. What's going on with them? What's his opposition he's facing?
Abe Mills 56:19
Well, it sounds like there were some guys that were very wroth with the fact that they were building walls.
Tyler Collet 56:25
Hey, Abe, who are those guys? What were their names? (laughter)
Abe Mills 56:31
Would you like to read that for me, Tyler? So it looks like Sanballat and Tobiah. And the Arabians, which I'm sure is a bunch of brothers, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites. Yep. And they, when they heard the walls of Jerusalem were made up, they were very wroth. And they conspired together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to hinder it. They didn't want it to happen; so they wanted to fight against it.
It's exactly, 100%. There's some more adversity and opposition, verses 14-23; highlight and mark those. And Nehemiah tells us he looked up, he rose up, and he said to the nobles, and the rulers, and to the rest of the people, be not afraid of them. Remember the Lord, which is great and terrible. Now remember, in Hebrew, the word 'terrible' actually means 'awesome'. The Lord is great and awesome. And fight for your brother and your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses. Like, it's just like a Hollywood movie moment, right? He's like, just build those walls. And they can't, because again, they're going to have adversaries come against them. And they're going to keep them from the work progressing. Another reference we have is Nehemiah 6. Let's turn there. And we have verses 1-9. Tyler, you want to sum that story up because this is so powerful.
Tyler Collet 57:50
Well, so initially, was it Geshem, did I say his name right? Geshmoo,
Sanballat and Tobiah. And Geshem.
Tyler Collet 58:01
Yes, thank you. They had sent I believe it was a total of five letters, asking to meet with Nehemiah, and each time I believe Nehemiah thought this is going to be a trap. I'm not doing it, each time, nope, I'm not going to. They finally send a servant to meet with Nehemiah and say, Hey, look, we're going to tell the king that you're doing all these things that he essentially just wasn't doing - basically it was a lie. And they were going to more or less lie to the king in an attempt to stop Nehemiah.
You're absolutely right. In fact, read verse 3 for us, I'll give you an easy verse here. Because this is one of the reasons Nehemiah says, I'm not going to come down and meet with you stop trying to hinder the work that I'm doing. They're trying to postpone. They're trying to pull Nehemiah from his work. And here's what he says in verse 3.
Tyler Collet 58:52
6:3 "And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: Why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?"
Basically, no. I'm doing something more important and I'm not going to leave it.
Abe Mills 59:08
I think he's saying, "Ain't nobody got time for that." (laughter)
Oh my gosh, Abe. Just so you know, I have that framed in my house. That exact thing is in my home on my bookshelf. "Ain't nobody got time for that."
Abe Mills 59:24
I look at that and I go, Man, this guy was pretty smart. I mean, we see all these movies and read these books and stuff and we see all the little tricks that people are playing so we can spot them easier. But back then you had to be pretty sly to kind of catch on to people with their little stuff that they're trying to do. And I'm assuming that he had eyes always upon him and so he's probably aware of people's desires to distract him and or harm him to stop the work from progressing. But we know, when it's time, it's time and you can't stop it.
Absolutely. Elder Uchtdorf actually gave a talk for conference, and it's called "We Are Doing a Great Work and Cannot Come Down", and I took this quote from it because it's so good. Abe, read that for us.
Abe Mills 1:00:08
"Think of the power we would have as individuals if, in response to every temptation, to lose focus or lower our standards, the standards of God, we responded, "I am doing a great work and cannot come down."
Don't you just get chills.
Abe Mills 1:00:23
Yeah, that's awesome.
Tyler Collet 1:00:25
Well, it's just that we're doing a great work and cannot come down, right, we need to stay focused, stay worthy. While we're doing our work here on Earth, kind of going back just a minute when we read Elder Holland's quote, in that there's adversity right before big things. I immediately thought of Joseph Smith's First Vision as he's in the grove, as he's getting ready, bam. Satan just takes over and in the midst of him just about to give up and whatnot, that's when he sees Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. It would have been so easy for him to just come down and say, you know, I don't know what work is ahead. I'm just gonna come down, it's a lot easier. But I think that is the same in our lives. We're doing that great work, we can't come down from keeping our focus on God.
Abe Mills 1:01:18
Tyler, I appreciate your words. It's so true. I've heard this story in the Book of Mormon before, you know, Malachi used this little trick, like, come down and talk to us, like, just come down just a little bit. And then finally the guy did, then he was done. We know that that's what happens when you lose your focus, right? So it's important to not go down if you're doing an important work. And it's important to be doing an important work so you can't go down.
Tyler Collet 1:01:44
You're too busy, too busy,
too busy doing God's work.
Abe Mills 1:01:47
anxiously engaged in a good cause.
Tyler Collet 1:01:50
Tyler, I love that you gave the example of Joseph Smith before the First Vision. We saw that happen with Jacob; Jacob's wrestle before his name was changed. Moses - after Moses saw the vision, Satan came in and tried to convince him it wasn't real. And this will happen consistently. And I've had this conversation with my daughters recently, because both of them right before they got their Patriarchal Blessings were just bombarded with moments to 'come down'. And I was shocked. My little one, how many times things that she would see that were not appropriate, and the struggle and the wrestle to stay on the straight and narrow and not 'come down.'
t's just so prevalent in the lives of our teenagers, and our youth. And I just have to remind them, like something special is going to happen. Or you're about to get your Patriarchal Blessing. Of course Satan's knocking on your door. Or you just put in your mission papers. It's going to be hard. Satan will use every opportunity, he will send you more than five letters asking you to 'come down'. And I just love this answer. "I am doing a great work and cannot come down." It's such a good message. It's such a good lesson. So, thank you for sharing. I have really appreciated your guys' words that was awesome. Now in addition to the building the walls, there's another great work that's going to take place among the Israelites and we can't wait to show you what that is in the next segment.
Segment 6 1:03:09
Now those who are living in Jerusalem during Nehemiah's time, they had been lost spiritually for several years without the nourishment of scriptures and sacred ordinances. So Ezra, he was living in Jerusalem during this time with Nehemiah. So Nehemiah and Ezra, they did something to help the people regain their spiritual strength in Nehemiah 8-10. Now many scholars agree that what takes place in Nehemiah 8-10 is a record of a very important event in biblical history. So I want to show you what it is. Go with me to Nehemiah 8. We're just gonna look at verses 1-3. This is pretty cool what happens. In verse 1 the people are gathering "themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses...."
Highlight that: "bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel."
And then, Ezra the priest brings the law before the congregation. I like how it says, "both of men and women, and all that good hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month." And then Abe read verse 3.
Abe Mills 1:04:15
8:3 "And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law."
So here's why this is so miraculous, and such a cool event, is because it's believed to be the beginning of the oral translations of the Bible. So I think this is incredible. This is where, according to tradition, it says that Ezra gathered up all the sacred writings: the Torah, the prophets, and other writings. The Talmud asserts that those books which were missing, Ezra wrote. But what we need to know is that this is a period of collection, standardization and canonization of the great Hebrew Scriptures - which is our Old Testament -that come down to us So how cool is that, beginning right here with telling all the people. And Ezra as the scribe has all of this information. We're reinstating what they have lost belief in. And so this is sort of another one of those really cool kind of Pentecostal moments, like a day of Pentecost. They feel the spirit, they're super excited. In fact, their reaction is in verse 6. Tyler, will you read verse 6 for us.
Tyler Collet 1:05:23
8:6 "And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground."
So they are so happy. They are just thrilled that they have the words of the Lord again, and they're kind of recommitting themselves to following the Lord. In verse 10 it says, "Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength."
Highlight that: "the joy of the Lord is your strength." What we've done today - this is so good - then they have a little Sukkot experience in verses 14 and 15. They build huts that their family will live in together and they'll worship together. Now, in Nehemiah 11-12, the walls get finished, they get dedicated, they get celebrated. And then let's go to Nehemiah 13. Nehemiah leaves Jerusalem for several years. And while he's away, that joy of the Lord? It dissipates. Many of the Jews struggle to live according to their covenants. And Nehemiah is devastated. And he sees the walls that he built. People have set up shops all along the walls, and they are working on Sundays. The temple is being neglected and it's so bad. And the bummer of all of this, and today's entire episode hinges on this heart: the heart of the children of Israel.
Like, they didn't understand the temple that they were building. And so the Israelites, they were given so many chances, and they just weren't ready. They just weren't willing to accept. They couldn't keep the commandments and attend the temple and live up to their privileges. So in Nehemiah 13, we have verses 14, 22, and 31. So let's do this as sort of a little scripture chain. We're going to go to Nehemiah 13. We're going to read verse 14. Because if you look at Nehemiah 13:8, Nehemiah says "it grieved me sore"; like he's so sad. I gave up time off my job, I came and built these walls, the people believed, and now they don't. And they're totally breaking the Sabbath. I don't know what to do anymore. And so here is what he says, we're going to start with verse 14. And Tyler, will you read that for us, please.
Tyler Collet 1:07:34
13:14 "Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for the offices thereof."
Now let's go to verse 22. Abe, will you read that please.
Abe Mills 1:07:47
22 "And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the Sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy."
Cross reference it to verse 31. And Tyler, will you finish this up for us and read verse 31.
Tyler Collet 1:08:05
31: "And for the wood offering, at times appointed, and for the first fruits. Remember me, O my God, for good."
What is in Nehemiah's message when he just continually says "remember me, O my God, for good" in light of what he's seen?
Abe Mills 1:08:22
I think Nehemiah, he's a human. He wants to be remembered, what he sacrificed and did because his belief. He wants to understand that God sees the fate that he has, and the belief that he has. It's almost like as a parent, right? If your kid does something and it's not quite up to your standards, you're kind of like, I just want You to know that, like, I did teach him the right way, because we kind of feel like it reflects on us, right? So he goes, so he goes, and he sees what's going on. And he's thinking, Oh, no, this is gonna reflect poorly on me. I went and did all this stuff but it didn't make a difference. I think in some ways, that's what he feels like. But I think, in this, he errs, because I think what God wants is for us to do the right thing because it's the right thing, and not necessarily because of what the outcome is, or will be.
And this is a journey. And sometimes the journey takes long and arduous detours. Sometimes the detours lead to dead ends. Sometimes we find the way on the other side of the mountain, but whatever it is, the important thing is that we try to do what's right. I mean, I'm sure that it would have been great if he came back and everybody was singing and dancing in the streets and going to the temple and, but this is the great thing about the gospel is that we all have our choices to make. But I think for him, he was like, My choice was to do what was right, so please remember that.
I love how you saw the human in Nehemiah. That was so good because I agree. What about you, Ty?
Tyler Collet 1:10:00
Looking at verse 31. You know, as he prays and shouts out, O, Oh my God, please remember me the things that he did you know. He helped with the temple, he reminded, he brought forth the law of Moses to those who didn't understand it to help them live that in stayin in the marriage covenant and keeping the Sabbath Day holy. And I think Abe really did a great job in touching on the, you know, the person side of things. And that made a lot of sense to me.
That's great. Absolutely.
Abe Mills 1:10:34
You know, I think it's interesting that thinking of what we were talking about before, which is about the Samaritans, right? Samaritans wanted in, they didn't want to end and one of the reasons why is because they had married, whatever, all the things they had done. But it seems like these, the Jewish people had kind of at this point, kind of done exactly what Samaritans had done. But then the Samaritan weren't allowed to play. So I think like, where are we now, you know? You think about that relationship and what that did to those - that relationship because it probably not lost on the Samaritans but these guys doing the same exact thing that they were doing. And now, you know, becomes, it becomes worse.
But I think in the end what it shows is that, if you can stay on the path of keeping the Sabbath Day holy, attending the temple, and if you can, if you can keep the covenants that you make, you know, and part of that is keeping the Sabbath Day holy, and attending the temple, often, I think we can kind of keep our focus and not let outside influences keep us from, from feeling joy in our lives, keep us from being right before the Lord. And I think it's okay if other people are having struggles with that; everybody's on a different journey. And everybody is on different places on that journey.
Tyler Collet 1:11:46
So I think it's so important for us to remember that as we go throughout, because we can have a much different impact on people as we kind of allow them and help them in ways that we can help them and get help from them. There's a lot to be learned here, I think, just from Nehemiah's experience.
Well, and to piggyback on what you said, Abe, I really appreciate your words, both you and Tyler. I almost want to add in verse 31. "Remember me, O my God for good. I hope it was enough." Because I think, like that's how I would phrase that for myself. And I hope it was enough for me and everyone else, like you said, We have family members and friends that make choice and we're worried about them. O my gosh, they're not keeping their covenants. It doesn't matter what they are or are not doing. The only thing that matters is what you're doing. And I wonder if that's sort of Nehemiah’s plea: O, gosh, well, they're all singing. I don't know, just remember me, I hope it was enough for me, cuz everyone's gonna have to work out their own salvation. And so I think I will say that "I hope it's enough."
Tyler Collet 1:12:49
Yeah, I say that every day. I hope. I hope I did enough, you know.
Okay, and let me just be perfectly clear right here. This has nothing to do with being 'enough.' As covenant keeping members of Christ's Church, we ARE enough, just by virtue of who we are. I just want to know that my personal efforts in building the temple that I was sent here to build was enough. And that that's what I needed to do to fulfill my role in helping to bring people to Christ and that I won't let any important documents pass by my desk. So. Great discussion, you two, that was so great. For Ezra and Nehemiah, which just seems like these small little books, you wonder if there's anything in there. And you guys proved today that there is. That was an awesome discussion. So thank you. That's it. That's the end of our segment. So gather your thoughts and give me a quick takeaway, what stood out to you?
Tyler Collet 1:13:35
I think of Alma 26, "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my god, for in his strength I can do all things;" And I think, for me anyways, building my temple, I know I can't do it all myself. And I have to rely on God's strength to do the things that He would have me do. And so that's my takeaway is trusting in God and looking at Him to help me do the things He'd have me do.
I love that scripture you shared, give us the reference one more time.
Tyler Collet 1:14:12
That's Alma 26:12.
So awesome. Thank you, Tyler for incorporating that. What about you Abe?
Abe Mills 1:14:19
You know, one of the things that I take away from this is that, you know, we have this opportunity to do something with God. And as we go through it, I mean, I can't imagine what it would be like, I mean, when you think about like Noah with a ship or Nephi with a ship or, you know, these people with a temple. It's like, go do this thing. I mean, I don't know how many years they spent doing it, but it's like, it's a very, very, very committed thing.
But in some ways, and in many ways, I feel like a lot of it is the journey and how we take it and if I just feel like man, if I can just try and do my best and then have faith that God will see me through the rest of the way. That's what a lot of these people were doing. I mean, I'm sure that after living the lives that they had lived and to having this opportunity to build a temple, was so great for them. But at the same time, it was probably really hard for them to believe, because they had so many negative things happen to them. But I think if we do our best, and we try to step into the light, or try to step into the darkness, not knowing if there's going to be light when we get there, that God will take care of the rest. And I think as we trust and learn to trust the Savior in that way, I think we will find that, that He will have His eye upon us.
Great connection back to "eye upon us". That was great, Abe. Thank you for sharing that. My takeaway for sure was the personal stories you shared today, both of you. They were awesome and profound. And as you shared, I just felt such peace and, and joy, which is the spirit and I love how that works, that you both spoke truth. And it witnessed to me, like there were times when my heart was like, Yes, that is true. And I loved it. So thank you for sharing that. And Abe, I'll never forget, "Ain't nobody got time for that." "I cannot come down." I wrote next to it: "Ain't nobody got time for that, I'm too busy doing the Lord's work." That was so much fun, I loved it, so. And then Tyler, every time I read a hard name in the Old Testament I'm gonna think of you. So,
Tyler Collet 1:16:19
Thanks for being a good sport about that. He's my brother-in-law, so I know that he knows where I live. Anyway, I love you guys.
Abe Mills 1:16:28
Love you Tammy and love you, Tyler. Thank you so much. You guys are awesome as always..
Tyler Collet 1:16:33
Love you both. You guys are great.
It's late. So see ya.
Tyler Collet 1:16:38
See you guys
Abe Mills 1:16:38
You guys take care.
Well, we would love to hear what your big takeaway is from this episode, and I hope it's "Ain't nobody got time for that." Now, if you haven't already joined our discussion group on Facebook or on Instagram, go do it. It's so fun. You can ask questions, you can just do a post about something you've learned. And then at the end of every week, on a Saturday, we do post a call for your big takeaways. So comment on the post that relates to this lesson. And just let us know what you learn. It's really fun. I love reading everybody's comments.
You can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes for this episode on LDS living.com/sundayOnMonday. That's where we're gonna have a link to all of our references, all of our quotes and we'll have a complete transcript of this whole discussion so go check it out. The Sunday on Monday Study Group is a Deseret Bookshelf Plus original, brought to you by LDS Living. It's written and hosted by me, Tammy Uzelac Hall and today our so cool study group participants were Abe Mills and Tyler Collet. And you can find more information about these friends at LDS living.com/sundayonMonday. Our podcast is produced by Katie Lambert and me. It is edited by Hailey Higham and recorded and mixed by Mix at Six Studios. And our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom. Thanks for being here. We'll see you next week.
And please remember, You are God's Favorite.
Tyler Collet 1:17:47
Do either of you think
No. I actually don't.
Tyler Collet 1:17:52
When we're, do any of you think that these guys that I butchered their names are going to come up to me and say, Really? It's pronounced like this. It's Shahrazad.
What's your name? Ty-lair?
'Cuz one of them will come up and put his hand on your shoulder and go, It's pronounced.... And then he'll say
Tyler Collet 1:18:11
Abe Mills 1:18:12
Exactly. Yeah, Ty-lair.
I'll make sure that happens. If I die first, I'll line them all up for when you cross over. "All those who Tyler butchered your name, please report to the gate. (laughter)
Tyler Collet 1:18:26
Abe Mills 1:18:30
How do you say YOUR name?